Apple refunds rush shipping charges

Steve Jobs with his new babyIt can be hard to wait for your new gadget to ship. I’ve spent countless hours fretting over Newegg shipments, whether they were for me or a friend. I’ve also spent countless upcharges on rush shipping to make sure I get my toys the very second they’re available.

Apple offered a rush shipping method with the iPad pre-orders for an extra $12. That’s not so bad for tech gear, that is, until you find out that standard shippers would receive their tablets on the same day. Did I mention standard shipping is free?

Thankfully, Apple decided to come clean and refund the rushed shipping upcharge. Here’s the letter you’ll be receiving if this affects you:

To Our Valued Apple Customer:

Thank you for your recent Apple iPad purchase.

Our records indicate that when you placed your iPad pre-order, you chose to pay for expedited shipping.

Expedited shipping is not necessary to ensure delivery. Apple has processed a refund for the shipping charge on your order. Please contact your card-issuing bank for information on when the credit will be posted to your account.

Your iPad will deliver on April 3rd in the areas where UPS offers
Saturday delivery.

You can view the most up-to-date status of your order at
.
Sincerely,
The Apple Store Team

RIM looks better than expected

Blackberry phone lineup.For a while there it seemed as if every analyst was ready to sell RIM up the river. The company wasn’t performing well outside the enterprise market according to most, and the iPhone and Android were gaining speed at alarming rates. Not much has changed. The iPhone has slowed a bit and Android continues to skyrocket, but according to the latest RIM numbers, the BlackBerry brand is doing surprisingly well.

The company missed its quarterly earnings mark, but not by much. Activations are at an all-time high with 4.9 million this quarter. Annual revenue is up a whopping 35 percent. CEO Jim Balsillie sounded positive and said the company is, “off to a great start in fiscal 2011 and expect strong shipments, revenue, subscriber and earnings growth in Q1.”

Shares were still down for the day, likely because of the missed earnings numbers, but all in all things don’t seem so dire. In fact, it all sounds pretty good.

JooJoo only took 90 preorders, 15 of which were returned

Chandra with the JooJoo.The JooJoo lawsuits have unearthed some very interesting information. Apparently the device formerly known as the CrunchPad isn’t doing as well as expected. It isn’t doing well at all. To date there have been just 90 JooJoo preorders, that’s a nine with one zero after it, and 15 of those have been returned (which supposedly hasn’t been easy).

If you’ll remember, the initial run of JooJoo’s was supposed to finance a run into high production and provide the financing to support a legal defense against TechCrunch and Michael Arrington. For some reason I don’t think $44,000 is going to do that.

Part of the problem is that the JooJoo was announced in the same month as the iPad at the same price. Who are you going to buy a $500 tablet from, Apple, or some company you’ve never heard of for reasons other than the lawsuit brought against it because the tablet it’s selling may be stolen IP. I think we all know the answer to that one.

Source: Gizmodo

John Gruber calls WSJ iPhone rumors ‘lame’

iPhone 4?The Wall Street Journal claimed to have picked up on some info on the new iPhone, namely that there is one and that it will release to Verizon this year. Great work, guys. I bet no one else saw that coming. John Gruber shares my lack of enthusiasm about the report, mainly because it has no new information. It is, in his words, “WSJ’s Lame Entry in the iPhone Rumors Game.”

He doesn’t stop there, though. He goes on to list a few prospective features for iPhone 4, some very nice prospective features.

And they have no actual details of the next-generation iPhone. Nothing. Not the A4-family CPU system-on-a-chip. Not the 960 × 640 double-resolution display. Not the second front-facing camera. Not even the third-party multitasking in iPhone OS 4. All they have is that there’s going to be a new iPhone this summer, period. Thanks for the scoop, Yukari Iwatani Kane.

That’s not a bad list of specs for a potential iPhone candidate. In fact, it sounds just like a spec list Apple might embrace. I don’t know if Gruber knows something we don’t, but it certainly seems that way.

Source: Daring Fireball

Amazon wants to be your digital media hub

Amazon box.Amazon’s been struggling to keep up in the new ebook market. With Apple fast encroaching and stealing away publishers with the promise of more flexible contracts, Amazon’s trying to keep its hand deep in the content cookie jar, in some cases with threats. But Amazon knows that books aren’t the only frontier. As some recent job postings show, the company is looking to get into game download distribution, like Valve’s Steam.

The news comes from Lazard Capital, market analysis firm that says, “As in other segments of digital media, we expect Amazon to pursue new opportunities as an aggregator of online games, similar to Steam (PC), BigPoint (browser) and others.” It would put Amazon in an interesting position that no one else holds in the market, sort of like the Wal-Mart of digital media. If this is true I’d say it’s entirely possible to see them get into the video market as well, with some sort of answer to the iTunes platform. I know plenty of people that currently choose Amazon for music over the Apple alternative.

The news is backed up by claims that Amazon is hiring somewhere in the range of 1,000 new employees, many of whom will be software developers.

Source: MCV